Family Celebrates TBM Alice’s Metro Tunnel Breakthrough

06 October 2020

The first eastern section of the Metro Tunnel is now complete, after a second tunnel boring machine (TBM) has broken through at the tunnel’s eastern entrance at South Yarra.

TBM Alice, named after wartime medical hero Alice Appleford, is the second TBM to breakthrough at South Yarra in the past month, joining Millie, which broke through in September.

Alice and Millie have each dug 1.7 kilometres from the site of the new Anzac Station to the tunnel’s eastern entrance, while TBMs Joan and Meg have dug 2.6 kilometres from the western entrance in Kensington to the Parkville Station site.

Alice Appleford was an Australian civilian and military nurse who took part in both World Wars. During the First World War she served in hospitals in Egypt and France and was one of only seven Australian nurses decorated with the Military Medal for Gallantry.

TBM Alice’s progress has been followed avidly on the Metro Tunnel website by her descendants, including great-granddaughter Jacqui Schranz and her children Lucy, 9, and Emily, 6.

Alice’s cutterhead will soon be lifted out by crane and trucked to the Anzac Station site. The rest of the TBM will be pulled back through the tunnel to Anzac Station, then reassembled and launched towards Town Hall Station.

The Metro Tunnel project will transform Melbourne’s rail network, adding capacity for more than half a million peak time passengers a week once it’s complete in 2025.

More than half of the tunnelling for the project has now been completed and the four TBMs have installed more than 31,000 concrete segments to form the rings lining the tunnels and have excavated 371,000 cubic metres of rock and soil.

Work is continuing on the South Yarra tunnel entrance, where trains will enter the Metro Tunnel. The base slab for the entrance has been poured and crews are now building the internal walls.

When work on the tunnel entrance is complete the surrounding area will be transformed into a leafy public space for visitors and residents, with walking and cycling links.

Construction on the Metro Tunnel Project is continuing, with workers adhering to strict COVID-19 safety measures in line with Victorian Government restrictions.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Transport Infrastructure Jacinta Allan

“This is yet another milestone on this huge project, which will create room for more trains, more often and continues to support hundreds of jobs.”

“Workers on the Metro Tunnel Project have done a fantastic job to keep this project pushing ahead while taking the greatest care with their own health and safety.”

Reviewed 05 October 2020

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